Posted On July 10, 2016

God the Trinity: Biblical Portraits (Malcolm B. Yarnell III)

by | Jul 10, 2016 | Theology, Featured

When it comes to discussion of the Trinity, Christianity surprisingly runs quite a gamut of opinions and thoughts. While the Trinity is one of the most creedal and thus essential doctrines of Evangelicalism, some accuse the Trinity of being explicitly unknowable according to Scripture. Some, though they recognize the Trinity in Scripture, do not put much significance on the matter. Even within the camp of Evangelicalism, we’ve seen lots of recent debate surrounding the roles and functions among the person of the Trinity, with the tiniest of nuances laboriously discussed. Malcolm Yarnell III has set out to answer these two key attacks on the importance of the biblical Trinity and provide a fresh look at Scripture’s thoughts on who the Trinity specifically is with an important book, God The Trinity: Biblical Portraits.

As Yarnell puts it, he spends a majority of his time “evaluating the Biblical source material for the Trinity” (vii), playing off of the metaphor of art. As he alludes to in the book, the task of evaluating every single Trinitarian text in Scripture would be “a gargantuan task” (25), with over 120 texts! However, Yarnell does a masterful job of reducing this heavy undertaking to a few subheadings. He desires to see a recovery of “large, comprehensive structures of meaning” (11).

One of Yarnell’s most important chapters is the opening one, in which he sets the stage for his arguments with “The Identity of God.” He asserts that it is the very name of God that sets forth a biblical concept of the Trinity. “There are three different names provided–Father, Son, Holy Spirit–but “name” is either mistakenly or intentionally used in the singular. If intentional, it appears to indicate a singular identity for the three” (20). Yarnell then moves towards a more robust and narrow treatment of biblical Trinitarian texts, engaging with Greek words like “καί” and Hebrew words like “שְׁמַע.” Yarnell’s goal throughout the book is simple: to show that “the Father is the source from which the Son is begotten and the Holy Spirit proceeds” (109).

Recently we have seen quite a bit of controversy surrounding discussion on the Trinity, especially on the note of eternal functional subordination. Yarnell is an important voice in this matter. While some have accused Baptist theologians of poor exegesis in this matter, Yarnell makes compelling points to defend his views, offering in God the Trinity one of the premier books on the Trinity any Baptist theologian has put out. I am grateful for this volume and know I will return to it as a resource for an exegetical and biblically-based approach to the Trinity.

Related Posts

Standing on the Authority of God’s Word

Standing on the Authority of God’s Word

The challenges before us each day may seem daunting to us. We live in a culture that relies heavily on hunches, intuitions, and feelings. The emphasis on the subjective has led many to deny biblical Christianity and reject any notion of truth. The witty British...

Israel’s Temporary Hardening

Israel’s Temporary Hardening

Romans 11:25-27, “And even they, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again. 24 For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive...

The Miracle of Restoration

The Miracle of Restoration

Romans 11:23-24, “And even they, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again. 24 For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive...

The Matter of Whether Necessary Evil Is Biblical or Not

The Matter of Whether Necessary Evil Is Biblical or Not

On today’s episode, a listener writes in and asks Dave, “Is a Necessary Evil Biblical?” What you’ll hear in this episode How Scripture Speaks of Evil. Three Helps for Facing Evil and Suffering. Subscribing, sharing, and your feedback You can subscribe to the Servants...

Dave Jenkins- The Relationship Between Scripture and Tradition

Dave Jenkins- The Relationship Between Scripture and Tradition

On today’s Equipping You in Grace show, Dave considers the meaning of Sola Scripture, tradition, and the value of church history, the authority of Scripture, Christian conscience, and tradition, and why the Church has good answers to the issues of the day. What you’ll...

0 Comments

Share6
Reddit
Email
Buffer
Tweet